Today is Juneteenth, and with many public events and observances cancelled countrywide, people are seeking more personal ways to display their resilience, pride, and convictions in their own space. Juneteenth fashion and accessories are selling fast and shipping across the country online. Fashion and statement t-shirts have always been a huge part of Juneteenth festivals and celebrations. After slaves were freed, one of the most celebrated aspects of freedom was the ability to finally “dress up”. Slaves were relegated to harsh, plain fabrics and could be punished severely for “dressing outside of their station”, this raised suspicion that they’d be confused as free people of color or seeking to escape bondage. Freed slaves therefore spent considerable time and expense to adorn themselves to their personal taste once in a safe space. To this day, “dressing for the occasion” is of high regard in the Black community. Online sales of empowering or inspiring Black message fashions have exploded — both due to pandemic event cancellations as well as Black Lives Matter protests.
In conjunction with Juneteenth observances taking place, folks can patronize merchants for #BlackoutDay as well — a day earmarked for supporting only Black businesses — on July 7th, 2020. This is a movement underway to show the power of the collective Black dollar, and it is taking hold widely across the country.
Of course, these designers create other inspirational messages with their talents. Some offer a wide array of graphics and quotes. Here are a few we loved:
Juneteenth - Free-ish Breaking Free T-shirt
Designz by Morgan, was created by a mother/daughter team to create empowerment after experience with racial bullying based on their hair type. They offer T-shirts, other fashion and accessories. Their goal is “to celebrate young black girls today” through their message and products. They partner with local shelters in DC, Maryland and Virginia for women and children. They have Juneteenth tees and other items, and even offer payment plans on merchandise orders via Sezzle.
Support Black Colleges Short Sleeve Juneteenth 2020 T-Shirt
Support Black Colleges is a clothing line whose mission is to uplift, inspire & encourage others to Support HBCUs. “SBC was founded in 2012 by two Howard University students who saw a need to spread awareness about the school that changed their lives. The brand took off when celebrities such as Teyanna Taylor, Missy Elliot, Chris Paul, Eva Marcille and others were spotted rocking the brand. Each year, the SBC team employs over 70 college ambassadors & gives thousands of dollars in scholarships.” They have a Juneteenth design and other designs including youth sizes in t-shirts and hoodies.
Stickytudes Juneteenth Flag T-Shirt
Stickytudes is run by Heather Buchanan in Marion, Iowa. They began as a home-based business 3 years ago, and recently adopted 3 children (for a total of 5). They have a multi-racial household, and want everyone to feel they belong and have a place in the world, but especially the kids. “Their lives, dreams and ambitions matter.” We want “them to know they are beautiful, smart, and empowered. We want that message clear to everyone about our family and all others.”
Stickytudes offers the Juneteenth Flag t-shirts, hats and other designs or themes in their Etsy shop. These can be a bit harder to find. They offer a very large selection of other items including face masks or bandanas, hoodies, tutus, phone cases, hats, and more.
The Juneteenth flag was originally created by “Boston Ben” - Ben Haith, and later revamped by Lisa Jeanne Graf. Others who contributed to the flag design are: Verlene Hines, Azim, and Eliot Design. The colors of red, white and blue are based on the American flag. Whereas the star was borrowed from the Texas flag - where a later freedom announcement was made on June 19th, 1865. The starburst design is a symbol of new beginnings or paths for Black/African-descended people of America to finally forge on their own. (Flag information from National Juneteenth Observance Foundation & L.J. Graf)
Juneteenth American Flag Afro Free-Ish Since 1865 T-Shirt
Tee Public Marketplace features listings of Juneteenth designs created by individual artisans globally. The one featured is by Black Art Matters Shop.com. They have a good selection of Juneteenth shirts, accessories, and other items. Aggregator markets like Tee Public and Zazzle will always have some unique pieces by small business crafters.
Designs Galore by Veronica Juneteenth Free-ish T-shirt
Veronica Washington of Charleston, SC, is the owner of Designs Galore by Veronica, LLC, founded September 29, 2009. When asked what designing for Juneteenth means right now, she said, “I think it means giving Black people a voice we may not have always used before!... I feel my Juneteenth shirts will help shine a positive light, providing hope when we feel hopeless and empowering those who feel powerless.” They offer a variety of Juneteenth and Black Lives Matter designs in unisex or specific styles.
Juneteenth: Gold T-Shirt
Kept Mgmt Co./Vizionz offers a variety of Juneteenth and Black Lives Matter statement shirts, signs and accessories.
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